Chicken Schnitzel, Garlicky Beans and Pan Fried Potatoes

 

Some nights you just need comfort food. Simple, flavourful home cooking that reminds you of childhood and carefree days. When I was a kid my friend’s Mom made schnitzel and I loved it! Mind you, at the time I didn’t much care for the cabbage and dough noodles that went with it but I loved being invited to dinner at her house.

Many years later I learned to make schnitzel for my kids. It’s really very easy to make and can be used in so many ways. If you want Italian top it with marinara and parmesan. Use your creativity! I enjoy it topped with sauteed mushrooms, steamed spinach, a pinch of nutmeg and a squeeze of lemon juice. YUM!

To make my chicken schnitzel you will need:

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 cup flour
1 to 2 cups bread crumbs
2 eggs
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp thyme or oregano
2 T butter
2 T oil, I use olive oil

First prepare to coat the chicken. Put your flour on a dinner plate and the bread crumbs on another plate. Mix the spices with either the flour or the bread crumbs. Crack the two eggs into a pie plate and beat them roughly. I like to set up my plates close to the stove with the flour to the right, eggs in the middle and bread crumbs on the left. This makes it easy to get the chicken in the pan with the least amount of mess.

I store my chicken breasts in ziplock bags, 1 per bag, because I typically only cook for two people. (Yes I know, I always advocate recycling but I never re-use ziplock bags.)  I like to leave my chicken in the ziplock and pound on it with my tenderizer but you could use two pieces of plastic wrap. Pound that chicken until it’s about a quarter inch thick.

You will have noticed the pieces look HUGE now. I find that I only have room for one schnitzel in the pan at a time so I preheat my oven to about 200 F so I can keep them hot.

This is when I like to leave the chicken to rest and move onto prepping my sides. Tonight we are having simple Pan Fried Potatoes.

This traditional side would normally be made with bacon and onions. I’m out of bacon and my husband doesn’t care for onions but it’s really good so if you have the time add them. Use the butter and oil to fry the potatoes. Cover them and cook for about 30 minutes on medium heat, turning half way through. When they are done, using a slotted spoon, put them in a large oven proof dish and keep them hot in the oven. Leave the pan on the heat for your schnitzel.

Let’s move onto making the schnitzel. Quickly but carefully place the chicken flat on the flour, making sure to unfold any parts that have curled up. You want to make sure the entire surface is coated in flour. Turn it over and coat the second side. With a fork or your fingers pick it up and gently give it a shake to remove excess flour and place it in the eggs being careful to again coat the entire surface. Turn it over to coat the other side and gently shake to remove excess. Now… yes, you guessed it, place the chicken in the bread crumbs making sure to coat the entire surface. Turn it over and don’t be afraid to sprinkle bread crumbs into all the cracks and crevices. Use your hands and make sure it’s all coated.

Place the chicken into the hot frying pan and leave it alone for 4 to 5 minutes. Carefully turn it over and cook for another 4 or 5 minutes, or until it’s done. If you gently push on the surface with your finger it should feel springy not squishy when it’s done. Carefully remove the schnitzel from the frying pan, place it in the oven with your potatoes. Now bread the next piece and fry it.

I usually cook my vegetables during the last 10 minutes of cooking. Tonight we are making Garlicky Green Beans. So yummy and easy! Put about a half inch of water in the bottom of a small pot. Add the quantity of fresh or good quality frozen green beans that you suit your appetite. Press one clove of garlic on top. I’m a garlic hound and I can tell you one clove is plenty! Then add about 1 tsp of butter, a pinch of salt, cover and put on medium heat. Keep an eye on the pot and when it starts to boil turn down to med/low heat, cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.

That’s all there is to it! Plate up and enjoy. Don’t feel too guilty about the fat content. You may have noticed that the entire meal was cooked using the same butter and oil. After I was finished cooking there was about two tablespoons of it left in the pan. I probably wouldn’t eat this meal every night but once or twice a month makes it guilt free to me!

Until next time friends…